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Ronald Epstein

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E41CB6A7-FA6A-4D07-9CC6-46ABB9B75C19.jpeg
The Red Shoes, the singular fantasia from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, is cinema’s quintessential backstage drama, as well as one of the most glorious Technicolor feasts ever concocted for the screen. Moira Shearer is a rising star ballerina torn between an idealistic composer and a ruthless impresario intent on perfection. Featuring outstanding performances, blazingly beautiful cinematography by Jack Cardiff, Oscar-winning sets and music, and an unforgettable, hallucinatory central dance sequence, this beloved classic, dazzlingly restored, stands as an enthralling tribute to the life of the artist.

The Red Shoes was restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive in association with the BFI, The Film Foundation, ITV Global Entertainment Ltd., and Janus Films. Restoration funding provided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, The Film Foundation, and the Louis B. Mayer Foundation.

FILM INFO​

  • United Kingdom
  • 1948
  • 133 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.33:1
  • French, English
  • Spine #44

SPECIAL FEATURES​

  • In the 4K UHD edition: 4K digital transfer from the 2009 restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • In the 4K UHD edition: One 4K UHD disc of the film presented in Dolby Vision HDR and one Blu-ray with the film and special features
  • In the Blu-ray and DVD editions: High-definition digital transfer from the 2009 restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introductory restoration demonstration with filmmaker Martin Scorsese
  • Audio commentary from 1994 by film historian Ian Christie, featuring interviews with actors Marius Goring and Moira Shearer, cinematographer Jack Cardiff, composer Brian Easdale, and Scorsese
  • Profile of “The Red Shoes,” a 2000 documentary on the making of the film, featuring interviews with members of the production team
  • Interview with director Michael Powell’s widow, editor Thelma Schoonmaker Powell, from the 2009 Cannes Film Festival
  • Audio recordings from 1994 of actor Jeremy Irons reading excerpts from Powell and screenwriter Emeric Pressburger’s novelization of The Red Shoes and the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Red Shoes”
  • Collection of rare publicity stills and behind-the-scenes photos
  • Gallery of memorabilia from Scorsese’s collection
  • The “Red Shoes” Sketches, a 1948 animated film of Hein Heckroth’s painted storyboards, with the Red Shoes ballet as an alternate angle
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by critic David Ehrenstein and a description of the restoration by UCLA film archivist Robert Gitt
Cover by F. Ron Miller

December 14, 2021
 

Ronald Epstein

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Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link. As an Amazon Associate HTF earns from qualifying purchases

 
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Lord Dalek

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. . . in which case the only real question is does 4K provide a noticeable improvement on the superb Blu-ray disc.
Well it will have HDR at least.

The film itself though is not 2k judging from the existing Blu.
 

Jake Lipson

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The Red Shoes was my first Criterion Collection purchase so I am sort of sentimental about it.

If I were 4K equipped, I would certainly be interested to see how this looks. Since I'm not, and the Blu-ray seems identical to the one on my shelf right now, I'm good. But I hope it's a great release for those who can use it.
 

dukiejosh54

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A very interesting proposition.

A film that was never 4k, now in 4k and Dolby Vision.
Since the original print was scanned with a 4K scanner for the restoration, wouldn't you still get better picture from a 4K disc? VS converting the scan down to 1080p blu-ray disc? A genuine question because I'm not all that tech savvy lol.
 

Lord Dalek

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Since the original print was scanned with a 4K scanner for the restoration, wouldn't you still get better picture from a 4K disc? VS converting the scan down to 1080p blu-ray disc? A genuine question because I'm not all that tech savvy lol.
In an ideal situation, maybe.

Red Shoes was shot over 70 years ago with technology that has long been surpassed. Also since Jack Cardiff was going for a dreamy, ethereal look the definition is pretty problematic even in 2k. It is FAAAAAR from an ideal situation.

Honestly I would not be surprised if the only additional yield is more grain.
 

david hare

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“Ethereal” doesn’t do justice to Jack Cardiff’s photography which embraces a wide range of modes, from highly light controlled, studio interiors to expressionist ballet sequences to plein air full light (you can even see the reflections from the mirrors supporting the kliegs for Vicki’s ascent up the garden stairs of the chateau in Monte Carlo, when she first wears the tiara. The DV/HDR will definitely give the transfer a punch up in color space which, at P3 is closer to film stock rqnge than Rec. 709 (video range.) I can’t wait for this.
 

ScottHM

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This is the same release as the 2010 blu-ray but now with an added 4k disc.
4k releases like this are depressing. Rather than getting more upgrades from SD to HD we're getting a re-release of a film that already looks very good on Blu-ray. A (probably) incremental upgrade of an already fine looking release, rather than a substantial upgrade to an old DVD (or even, heaven forbid, the release of something not already on home video.)
---------------
 

Robert Harris

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Since the original print was scanned with a 4K scanner for the restoration, wouldn't you still get better picture from a 4K disc? VS converting the scan down to 1080p blu-ray disc? A genuine question because I'm not all that tech savvy lol.
It was not a print that was scanned. It was three black and white negatives, that were never meant to be seen highly resolved. The wonderful texture of Technicolor was the overall soft, cohesiveness of the imbibition printing.

This should look lovely, but should be softened to replicate the original look.

Unless that isn't the intent, and that's fine, as long as the point is made.
 

david hare

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Robert, this is a movie that has also had a number of reissues over the decades in the UK and Australia. I first saw it as a kid with parents in ca. 1961, and again as an adult in 1975. Both releases were re printed Tech IBs for Rank from the UK. I can’t remember the color print from my eleven year old eyes but the 1975 print, an IB was staggering: sharp, tight, bursting with color. Not surprising in those days.
 

MatthewA

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I saw the film in a 35mm nitrate Technicolor print at the Egyptian Theatre in 2003. They had to get the fire department to send a firefighter into the projection booth to ensure its safety. But what projected upon that screen was indescribable. Something no home theater could ever duplicate. This will be the closest to that.
 

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